Oh, how I love this time of year. We tend to have beautiful fall weather – the calm before the storms, so to speak – here in Vancouver. AND we have the Vancouver International Writers’ Fest. I have had a blast the past few days, meaning I’ve managed to get no work done whatsoever.
On Monday, my dear pal Ross King came to town, for said festival. Now here’s where I “event-name-drop,” because Ross and I met at last year’s Governor General’s Literary Awards, and we totally hit it off (he won for best non-fiction, for “Leonardo and the Last Supper”). Husband and I had him over for supper, where we plied him with vodka and tonics, his drink of choice. It was a great evening. And stupidly, I didn’t get any photos, so I’m cheating and attaching one from the GG’s last year (better yet, I should pretend it’s from our Monday dinner, and that we always wear gowns and tuxedos in our home to dine).
On Tuesday I moderated a panel with the lovely Teresa Toten and Viola di Grado. It went really well.
Tuesday night Husband and I went to see Ross King’s event, which was terrific. Then on Wednesday evening, my friend Michelle and I went to a reading moderated by my dear friend and fellow author Ian Weir, called “Up All Night,” featuring Lisa Moore, Scott Turow and Jo Nesbo. It was also supposed to feature Marisha Pessl – I was actually most excited about her because I’ve read and loved her novel, “Special Topics in Calamity Physics,” but she had to cancel due to a family emergency.
(I had briefly run into Scott Turow the night before in the Quarterdeck Lounge, which is where authors meet to walk to their events. We were meeting Ross there. When I realized Scott Turow was standing beside me, I gushed, “Oh, Scott! We’re seeing your event tomorrow night!” He was kind to the goofball (me).)
Anyway, it was a fantastic event, great readings by all three, and a great Q and A afterward. They were all warm and funny and generous. Afterward it was time for the Random House party. I brought my friend Michelle. She’d had her book signed by Jo, but she was desperate to have a photo with him. He is very funny, very dry – and very, very handsome. So, when he showed up with my pal Ian, I asked him if it would be okay.
And it was. Look how ecstatic Michelle looks. Her evening was made. We wandered the room, spotting other Canadian luminaries like Steven Galloway, Merilyn Simonds, Wayne Grady and Joseph Boyden (Joseph and Jo could go head-to-head in a “Men Who Are Too Handsome to be Authors” contest). I felt like I kept bumping into Scott Turow, or being very close to his personal space (it was a very crowded room), and began to worry he might think I was stalking him.
When we left, Scott was (coincidentally, I swear) leaving at the same time, being walked back to the hotel by festival director and all around lovely man, Hal Wake. We clacked along behind them in our heels. I finally had to tell Scott I wasn’t stalking him, because it was really beginning to look like I was. He told me “There would be worse people to have as a stalker.”
Evening = made!
This is a wonderful festival. I’ve launched two of my three books there and moderated a panel every year for about 4 years now. I only wish I could go to more events this week, but tonight I am off to Surrey for the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, to sit on a couple of panels and do a keynote. I’ve never participated before – I’m sure it will be fun. Too bad Scott Turow won’t be there. 🙂